|July 31 in recent years
July 31 is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 153 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide.
- 781 - The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781).
- 904 - Thessalonica falls to the Arabs, who destroy the city.
- 1423 - Hundred Years' War: Battle of Cravant - The French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne.
- 1451 - Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France.
- 1498 - On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
- 1588 - The Spanish Armada is spotted off the coast of England.
- 1655 - Russo-Polish War: Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years.
- 1658 - Aurangzeb is proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.
- 1667 - Second Anglo-Dutch War: Treaty of Breda ends the conflict.
- 1703 - Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.
- 1741 - Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.
- 1777 - The United States Congress passes a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette "be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States."
- 1790 - First U.S. patent is issued; granted to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.
- 1856 - Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city.
- 1865 - The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.
- 1913 - The Balkan States signs an armistice at Bucarest.
- 1917 - The Third Battle of Ypres starts in Flanders.
- 1919 - German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (to come into force on August 14)
- 1930 - The radio mystery program The Shadow is aired for the first time.
- 1932 - The NSDAP wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.
- 1936 - The International Olympic Committee announces that the 1940 Summer Olympics will to be held in Tokyo. However, the games are given back to the IOC after the Second Sino-Japanese War breaks out, and are eventually cancelled altogether because of World War II.
- 1938 - Bulgaria signs a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanta (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia)
- 1940 - A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls collides with a multi-car freight train heading the opposite way, killing 43 people.
- 1941 - Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."
- 1945 - Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
- 1945 - John K. Giles attempts to escape from Alcatraz prison.
- 1948 - At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
- 1951 - Japan Airlines is established.
- 1954 - First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.
- 1956 - Jim Laker sets an extraordinary record at Old Trafford in the fourth Test of taking nineteen wickets in a first-class match (the previous best was seventeen).
- 1961 - At Fenway Park in Boston, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning because of rain.
- 1964 - Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.
- 1970 - Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
- 1971 - Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
- 1972 - Northeast Airlines flies its last flight before being integrated into Delta Air Lines the next day.
- 1973 - A Delta Air Lines jetliner crashes while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston killing 89.
- 1975 - In Detroit, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
- 1976 - Viking program: Viking 1 - NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo.
- 1981 - General Omar Torrijos of Panama dies in a plane crash.
- 1981 - 42-day strike of Major League Baseball ends in the United States.
- 1987 - A rare, class F-4 tornado rips through Edmonton, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.
- 1988 - 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia.
- 1991 - The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai and kills 7 officers, 1 of severely wounded (after a head shot) becomes disabled.
- 1992 - A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashes into mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.
- 1996 - MIL-STD-1750A is declared inactive for use in new designs.
- 1999 - Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector - NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.
- 2006 - Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana [La Pequeña Habana in Spanish], Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.
- 2007 - Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end at midnight.
- 1143 - Emperor Nijo of Japan (d. 1165)
- 1396 - Philip III (d. 1467)
- 1527 - Maximilian II (d. 1576)
- 1598 - Alessandro Algardi, Italian sculptor and architect (d. 1654)
- 1702 - Jean Denis Attiret, French Jesuit missionary and painter (d. 1768)
- 1704 - Gabriel Cramer, Swiss mathematician (d. 1752)
- 1718 - John Canton, English physicist (d. 1772)
- 1724 - Noël François de Wailly, French lexicographer (d. 1801)
- 1737 - Princess Augusta Charlotte of Wales (d. 1813)
- 1803 - John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer (d. 1889)
- 1816 - George Henry Thomas, American general (d. 1870)
- 1835 - Henri Brisson, French statesman (d. 1912)
- 1835 - Paul du Chaillu, French explorer (d. 1903)
- 1843 - Peter Rosegger, Austrian poet (d. 1918)
- 1858 - Richard Dixon Oldham, British geologist (d. 1936)
- 1860 - Mary Vaux Walcott, American artist and naturalist (d. 1940)
- 1867 - Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant and philanthropist (d. 1966)
- 1880 - Munshi Premchand, Indian poet
- 1883 - Fred Quimby, American film producer (d. 1965)
- 1884 - Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, German politician (d. 1945)
- 1887 - Hans Freyer, German sociologist (d. 1969)
- 1892 - Joseph Charbonneau, French Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal (d. 1959)
- 1901 - Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (d. 1985)
- 1904 - Brett Halliday, American writer (d. 1977)
- 1911 - George Liberace, American musician (d. 1983)
- 1912 - Bill Brown, Australian cricketer
- 1912 - Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 2006)
- 1912 - Irv Kupcinet, American newspaper columnist (d. 2003)
- 1913 - Bryan Hextall, Canadian hockey player (d. 1984)
- 1914 - Louis de Funès, French actor and comedian (d. 1983)
- 1916 - Billy Hitchcock, baseball player, coach, and official (d. 2006)
- 1916 - Bill Todman, American game show producer (d. 1979)
- 1916 - Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist, and writer
- 1918 - Paul D. Boyer, American chemist, Nobel Prize Laureate
- 1918 - Hank Jones, American pianist
- 1919 - Curt Gowdy, American sports announcer (d. 2006)
- 1919 - Primo Levi, Italian author and chemist (d. 1987)
- 1920 - James Esdras Faust, American religious leader (d. 2007)
- 1921 - Whitney Young, American civil rights activist (d. 1971)
- 1921 - Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International (d. 2005)
- 1923 - Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish-born record company executive (d. 2006)
- 1929 - Don Murray, American actor
- 1929 - José Santamaria, Uruguayan footballer
- 1929 - Lynne Reid Banks, British author
- 1930 - Oleg Popov, Russian clown
- 1931 - Kenny Burrell, American guitarist
- 1931 - Nick Bollettieri, American tennis coach
- 1932 - Ted Cassidy, American actor (d. 1979)
- 1933 - Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer
- 1935 - Yvon Deschamps, French Canadian author, comedian and humorist
- 1935 - Geoffrey Lewis, American actor
- 1936 - Vic Davalillo, baseball player
- 1939 - France Nuyen, French actress
- 1941 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
- 1943 - William Bennett, 3rd United States Secretary of Education
- 1943 - Susan Flannery, American actress
- 1943 - Lobo, American singer and songwriter
- 1943 - Sab Shimono, Japanese American actor
- 1944 - Geraldine Chaplin, American actress
- 1944 - Jonathan Dimbleby, U.K. journalist and television presenter
- 1944 - Robert C. Merton, Leading Scholar and Nobel Prize Winner
- 1945 - Gary Lewis, American drummer and vocalist (Gary Lewis & the Playboys)
- 1946 - Bob Welch, American musician
- 1946 - Karen Zerby, current leader of Children of God
- 1950 - Lane Davies, American actor
- 1950 - Steve Miller, American writer
- 1951 - Evonne Goolagong, Australian tennis player
- 1951 - Barry Van Dyke, American actor
- 1952 - Chris Ahrens, American ice hockey player
- 1952 - Alan Autry, American football player, actor and politician
- 1952 - Helmuts Balderis, Latvian hockey player
- 1952 - João Barreiros, Portuguese writer
- 1953 - James Read, American actor
- 1954 - Derek Smith, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1956 - Michael Biehn, American actor
- 1956 - Deval Patrick, American Politician
- 1956 - Bill Callahan, American football coach
- 1957 - Daniel Ash, British musician (Bauhaus)
- 1957 - Leon Durham, American baseball player
- 1957 - Dirk Blocker, American actor
- 1958 - Bill Berry, American drummer (R.E.M.)
- 1958 - Mark Cuban, American businessman, producer, and basketball team owner
- 1959 - Stanley Jordan, American jazz guitarist
- 1960 - Dale Hunter, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1962 - John Chiang, American politician
- 1962 - Kevin Greene, American football player
- 1962 - Wesley Snipes, American actor
- 1963 - Brian Skrudland, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1963 - Fatboy Slim, British musician
- 1964 - Jim Corr, Irish singer and musician (The Corrs)
- 1965 - John Laurinaitis, American professional wrestler
- 1965 - J. K. Rowling, British writer
- 1965 - Scott Brooks, American basketball player
- 1966 - Dean Cain, American actor
- 1967 - Minako Honda, Japanese singer and musical actress (d. 2005)
- 1967 - Mitsuo Iwata, Japanese seiyū
- 1969 - David Cash, American professional wrestler
- 1969 - Loren Dean, American actor
- 1969 - Kenneth D. Schisler, American politician
- 1971 - Gus Frerotte, American football player
- 1971 - John Lowery (John 5), American guitarist
- 1973 - Chandra North, American supermodel
- 1974 - Emilia Fox, English actress
- 1974 - Jonathan Ogden, American football player
- 1975 - Simon Hirst, British radio DJ
- 1975 - Allan von Schenkel, American musician
- 1975 - Bloodshed American rapper (d. 1997)
- 1975 - Randy Flores, American baseball player
- 1975 - Mike Lincoln, American baseball player
- 1976 - Joshua Cain, American guitarist (Motion City Soundtrack)
- 1976 - Annie Parisse, American actress
- 1976 - Paulo Wanchope, Costa Rican footballer
- 1977 - Tim Couch, American football player
- 1978 - Justin Wilson, English race car driver
- 1978 - Will Champion, English drummer (Coldplay)
- 1979 - Jade Kwan, Hong Kong singer
- 1979 - Per Krøldrup, Danish footballer
- 1979 - J. J. Furmaniak, American baseball player
- 1979 - Carlos Marchena, Spanish footballer
- 1979 - B. J. Novak, American actor
- 1980 - Mils Muliaina, New Zealand and Waikato rugby player
- 1981 - Eric Lively, American actor
- 1981 - Ira Losco, Maltese singer
- 1981 - Matthew "M. Shadows" Sanders, American singer (Avenged Sevenfold)
- 1982 - Blessing Mahwire, Zimbabwean cricketer
- 1986 - Evgeni Malkin, Russian hockey player
- 1989 - Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player
- 1990 - Olga Galchenko, Russian juggler
- 855 - Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Muslim Jurisprudent (b. 780)
- 1396 - William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1342)
- 1508 - Na'od, Emperor of Ethiopia (killed in battle) (b. 1494)
- 1556 - Ignatius Loyola, Spanish priest and founder of the Jesuits
- 1653 - Thomas Dudley, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony (b. 1576)
- 1726 - Nicolaus II Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1695)
- 1750 - King John V of Portugal (b. 1689)
- 1784 - Denis Diderot, French philosopher and encylopedist (b. 1713)
- 1864 - Louis Hachette, French publisher (b. 1800)
- 1875 - Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (b. 1808)
- 1886 - Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer (b. 1811)
- 1914 - Jean Jaurès, French politician (d. 1859)
- 1917 - Francis Ledwidge, Irish poet (b. 1881)
- 1917 - Hedd Wyn (Ellis Humphrey Evans), Welsh poet (b. 1887)
- 1944 - Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French pilot and writer (b. 1900)
- 1953 - Robert Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio and Presidential candidate (b. 1889)
- 1943 - Hedley Verity, English Test cricketer (b. 1905)
- 1954 - Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (b. 1923)
- 1964 - Jim Reeves, American singer (b. 1923)
- 1966 - Bud Powell, American jazz pianist (b. 1924)
- 1972 - Paul-Henri Spaak, Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1899)
- 1980 - Pascual Jordan, German physicist (b. 1902)
- 1980 - Mohd. Rafi, Indian playback singer (b. 1924)
- 1986 - Chiune Sugihara, Japanese diplomat (b. 1900)
- 1986 - Teddy Wilson, American jazz pianist (b. 1912)
- 1990 - Albert Leduc, French Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1902)
- 1993 - King Baudouin I of Belgium (b. 1930)
- 2001 - Poul Anderson, American author (b. 1926)
- 2003 - Guido Crepax, Italian comics artist (b. 1933)
- 2004 - Virginia Grey, American actress (b. 1917)
- 2004 - Laura Betti, Italian actress (b. 1927)
- 2005 - Wim Duisenberg, Dutch banker (b. 1935)
- 2006 - Paul Eells, "Voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks" sportscaster (b. 1935)
Holidays and observances
113 Familypedia people were born on July 31
106 Familypedia people died on July 31
77 Familypedia people were first married on July 31